As it became known to Vedomosti, the largest shareholder in Novatek is the unchallenged leader of the company, Leonid Michelson: his share is 27.17% stake. And together with Gennady Timchenko, whose share is 23.49%, obtained a controlling stake.

Novatek did not disclose Michelson’s share since the IPO in 2005, till recent time the largest shareholder of the company was considered to be the fund of Timchenko - Volga Resources, which since 2008, according to its own data, collected 23.49% of shares. But the share of Michelson turned out to be bigger. He owns 27.17% personally and through the controlled company, as representative of Novatek told Vedomosti. According to yesterday's quotes on the LSE's, it accounts $ 9.9 billion. Michelson can block decisions on major transactions of Novatek, the company's reorganization and so on. (Although no case law has happened yet).

Novatek was controlled by management for many years, the maximum package (35,5% in 2005) was of Michelson’s. The share of managers was declined during the first IPO, then after the sale of 19,4% of "Gazprom" in 2006. After a series of transactions between managers of Novatek and Timchenko the market was confused whether the company had a controlling shareholder, analyst from the Bank of Moscow, Denis Borisov said.

Now it appears that formal control is at Timchenko and Michelson (total - 50.66%). In addition, their joint venture has an option to buy 9.4% stake in Novatek from Gazprombank by the end of 2012

However, nothing is clear with a share of Volga. In July the fund reported that the collected 23.13% in Novatek through Cyprus White Seal Holdings Ltd. and OOO "Santata" (according to the plan to increase it up to 23.49% as resoluted by FAS). The stake will not grow bigger, representatives of Timchenko assured. However, on October, 27 according to the Legal Entities, White Seal became the owner of another shareholder of Novatek - OOO Belon (6.2% at the end of September). Then White Seal, “Santata” and “Belona” should be 29.3% (see table).

The representative of Volga insists that "Santatu and White Seal fund still controls 23.49%. Volga owns 23.49% through a fund controlled by White Seal, “Santata” and “Belona”, and never exceeded this percentage, representative of Novatek approved.

Perhaps Timchenko has got a partner in White Seal, a source close to Novatek assumed. The representative of Volga did not disclose such details. His colleague from Novatek said that none of the board has shares neither in Volga, nor in structures controlled by the fund.

The fact that Timchenko is a shareholder of Novatek became known in October 2008. When he arrived to the company, a lot has changed: now it is rated as a real competitor of Gazprom, even the concern staff admitted that. Since 2009, Novatek bought some oil and gas assets for $ 1.9 billion (excluding repayment of debt and stock options), and increased the reserves in 2.5 times, has taken several customers of Gazprom and received incentives from government for the project to liquefy gas on the Yamal Peninsula, and in October updated record in terms of capitalization (the pre-crisis peak was $ 29 billion).

Source: Vedomosti, 28.12.2010